Go Kart Dies When You Give Gas? Fix Acceleration Issues (Fast & Easy)

Go-kart stalled on a racetrack with frustrated driver looking at the engine, illustrating troubleshooting for "go kart dies when give gas" issue.

It’s a frustrating situation that many go kart owners have experienced – you go to take your go kart out for a spin, press the gas pedal, and the engine sputters and dies.

Now the good news is that it can be fixed, and you can DIY.

Plus, you don’t have to spend money on expensive replacements.

In this quick post, I’ll go over why your go kart dies when you give gas and show how to fix it.

Why Does My Go Kart Die When I Hit Gas?

There are 4 reasons that could be causing your go kart to die when you give gas:

Also Read: Go Kart Steering Hard To Turn

#1 Damaged Fuel Lines

If the fuel lines going to your engine are cracked or disconnected, they will not properly deliver fuel for combustion when you hit the gas.

Damaged fuel lines are common if the lines are old and brittle.

#2 Closed Choke Lever

Most go karts have a choke lever you need to push open to start a cold engine.

If you forget to open the choke after starting, it will not allow enough airflow and cause the engine to die when accelerating.

#3 Blocked Carburetor

A clogged or blocked carburetor prevents the proper mixing of air and fuel needed for the engine. This means pressing the gas won’t deliver the combustion the engine needs to accelerate.

Dirt, debris, and gunk are common culprits behind clogged carburetors.

#4 Limited Airflow in Air Filter

A dirty, clogged air filter restricts airflow into the carburetor.

Without enough air mixing with the fuel, the engine will struggle (basically starve the engine) and die when you hit the throttle.

Dust trapped in the air filter or housing leading to restricted airflow has the same effect.

Also Read: Go Kart Brakes Not Working

What To Do If Go Kart Dies When You Give Gas

Go kart won't accelerate

If your go kart keeps dying when you give gas, try these:

Check The Fuel Lines

Take a good look at the fuel system, from the gas tank to the carburetor.

Over time, the fuel lines can become brittle and develop cracks, which can cause air leaks that mess up the flow of fuel.

Check that all the lines are securely in place and not twisted, as kinks can slow down the flow. Even tiny holes or loose connections can make the engine run inconsistently.

If you see any old, stiff, or cracked lines, it’s best to replace them.

Also, make sure the fuel filter is clean and properly connected.

Open The Choke Lever

Go ahead and check if the choke is closed.

If your go-kart has an external carburetor, find the choke lever. If it’s a manifold-mounted engine, look for the choke activation switch on the engine itself.

If it is closed, you need to open it.

Also Read: Why Is My Go-Kart Backfiring?

Make sure the manual choke lever is fully open, which means it should be vertical, not horizontal.

When the choke is closed after starting the engine, it creates a mixture that’s too rich, with too much fuel and not enough air.

Closing it will stop your go kart from dying when you give gas.

Clean The Carburetor

All carburetor components – jets, air intake valves, fuel bowls – must be totally free of contaminants for it to work smoothly.

Take out the carburetor and use a carburetor cleaner to get rid of any dirt or debris. And make sure to work the choke and throttle mechanisms while you’re cleaning to loosen up any gunk.

Pay close attention to unclogging the idle speed and high-speed jets.

You can use pipe cleaners if you need to.

Once you’ve put everything back together, double-check that the float and needle valves work as they should.

Clean The Air Filter

A restricted air filter directly cuts power by limiting oxygen to the engine.

It’s no wonder your go kart dies when given gas if this is the case.

Begin by removing the air filter assembly and looking over any flexible intake ducts for cracks that could let unfiltered air sneak in.

Then, take a look at the filter itself. If it looks gray, it means there’s a lot of dirt buildup on it.

You can try tapping out the debris or washing foam/wool elements according to the manufacturer’s instructions. But if it’s a paper filter, using compressed air might just spread the dirt around, so it’s better to replace it with a new one.

PS. You might want to try this first before you clean the carburetor.



Meet Charles, a passionate writer and avid go-kart enthusiast. With a background in motorsports, Charles brings a unique perspective to the world of go-karting and motorsports. When Charles is not behind the wheel, you can find him crafting compelling stories and informative articles on the latest trends and technology on the PK's Go-Karts blog here.